Gunmen killed at least 11 people in Guadalupe y Calvo, a city in northern Mexico's Tarahumara mountains, Chihuahua state officials said Sunday.
Six people were murdered Friday night in two separate incidents and five others were gunned down on Saturday by enforcers working for a criminal organization in the city of about 10,000 people.
Three men ages 17, 22 and 37 were murdered in the first incident on Friday, with two 35-year-old males and a 40-year-old man gunned down a few hours later, Chihuahua Attorney General's Office spokesman Carlos Gonzalez said.
Gunmen closed the roads leading into the city, entered some houses and grabbed several people, residents told Efe.
At least one house was torched by the gunmen, residents said.
The bullet-riddled bodies of five other people were found on Saturday by police in Santa Rosalia, a community within the Guadalupe y Calvo city limits.
The victims may have been shot by gunmen riding in an automobile, Gonzalez said.
The Defense Secretariat has ordered army troops deployed in Guadalupe y Calvo to restore order.
Officials said off the record that the gunmen may have belonged to the Sinaloa drug cartel while the victims may have been members of the La Linea gang, the Reforma newspaper reported Sunday.
La Linea provides enforcers for the Juarez cartel in its war against the rival Sinaloa cartel for control of smuggling routes in northern Mexico.
Some 300 soldiers from the 42nd Military Zone based in Parral are already operating in the area, the newspaper said.
Gunmen murdered the mayor of Guadalupe y Calvo, which is in southeast Chihuahua, in 2010.
Chihuahua has been one of the states most affected by the wave of drug-related violence in Mexico.
More than 11,000 people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, since 2008.
Over 50,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since late 2006, when former President Felipe Calderon militarized the war against the country's cartels. EFE